How to become an information scientist
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- through certification with a professional body
You could do a degree or postgraduate course to become an information scientist.
You can see approved courses and qualifications on the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).
- information studies
- information management
- data asset management
- library studies
Entry to postgraduate courses is very competitive. Before you apply for a course, you should try to get up to a year's work experience in a library or information services setting.
You'll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
You could do a T Level in Management and Administration to get some of the skills and knowledge you'll need as an assistant information officer or information manager apprentice.
You'll usually need:
4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T Level
You could do an apprenticeship relevant to this role such as:
- Library, Information and Archive Services Assistant Level 3 Intermediate Apprenticeship
- Information Manager Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship
- Archivist and Records Manager Level 7 Degree Apprenticeship
There might be opportunities to do an apprenticeship in different sectors like education, construction, engineering, health, transport or local government.
To get onto an apprenticeship, you'll find it useful to have:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
You could start as an assistant information officer or library assistant and work your way up by training on the job.
If you're already working in information science or management, you could get your skills and knowledge certified with professional registration from the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).
Real career story
Find out how Caroline became a knowledge and evidence specialist.
Business and finance degree
“My first degree was in business and finance, but while studying, I worked part time as a library assistant in the university library.”
Master’s and professional chartership
“When I graduated, the university library offered me a permanent position. They also offered to fund my master’s in library and information studies and my professional chartership.”
“There was no career progression at the university, so I took up a role as a medical librarian in a psychiatric library. From there, I worked in primary and secondary health care institutions, and in medical university libraries. I worked on national projects, including a virtual health library.”
Doctorate and current role
“While I was working full time, I also completed my doctorate, which focused on improving access to high quality health information for the public. I am currently working for a national public health organisation, finding the evidence to support public health policy and guidance.”
Professional and industry bodies
You can join the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) to help with your career development.
You can find out more about working in information science from the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).